Few Arkansas Students Graduate
While the percentage of Arkansas students that graduate in a reasonable time-frame isn’t decreasing, it remains far below other Southeastern states.
A recent report by the state Department of Higher Education shows that only 38 percent of students at Arkansas’s public universities graduate within six years. At community colleges, only 17 percent of students earn an associate’s degree within two years. Across the region, where the average graduation rate is 53 percent, these figures put Arkansas dead last.
Arkansas higher education officials believe their low rates have more to do with external factors—poverty and poor education heading into college—than what happens once students enter a college or university. Last year, 54 percent of new students needed to take remedial classes.
To combat the problem, the state added a new core curriculum for high schools called Smart Core and started a lottery funded scholarship this year.
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